Cornwall

Investment plans supported at final cabinet meeting of 2018

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 12/18/2018 - 16:55

Crucial investment plans and investment in emergency housing were on the agenda when Cornwall Council’s Cabinet met today.

Members supported plans to put an extra £107 million into the authority’s Cornwall Investment Programme, and the creation of a company to deliver the programme was also discussed.

The investment plan will see the council invest in housing and workspace for the people of Cornwall, which will in time provide a financial return back to the authority.

Councillor Julian German, portfolio holder for resources, told the meeting that the creation of the programme was ‘our response to austerity’, and assured members the company would provide a return.

The proposals were supported unanimously by the cabinet.

Proposals to invest over £39 million in the acquisition of a portfolio of private rented accommodation to use as emergency housing for those in need were also welcomed unanimously.

Cornwall Council saw more than 800 homeless applications during 2017, and these plans would allow a more flexible response, avoiding the use of bed and breakfast accommodation, and allowing families and individuals to remain closer to their home communities wherever possible.

The final topic for discussion was a proposed investment into Langarth Farm at Threemilestone, which would be invested into land for new homes, and for the creation of a new ‘northern access road’ from the A30.

Posted on December 18, 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Cabinet decision to secure future funding of Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 12/18/2018 - 16:20

Future funding of the Tamar Bridge and the Torpoint Ferry was discussed at today’s Cabinet meeting.

Toll prices on the bridge and the ferry, which are jointly owned by Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council, have not risen since 2010.  Under the terms of the Tamar Bridge Act, any changes must be approved by the Secretary of State for Transport before they can be implemented.

Members heard how the money generated by tolls is used to operate, maintain and improve the two crossings and subsidise the cost of the Torpoint Ferry service, which is vital to the economy of south east Cornwall.

Cabinet agreed unanimously to apply with joint owners Plymouth City Council to the Department for Transport to:

  • increase the current tolls by 33% to ensure the sustainability of the crossings
  • review toll charges annually in line with inflation, to assure the future finances; and 
  • seek funding from the Department for Transport towards future maintenance and upkeep of the bridge, in recognition of its strategic importance to the UK economy,  and to reduce the burden on users.

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet portfolio holder for transport, explained that the bridge and ferry are currently running at a loss.  He explained that  increased tolls were needed to keep maintenance and running costs covered as ongoing regular maintenance of the crossings is essential to keep users safe.

The proposals include retaining the 50% discount for those who use the electronic pre-paid TamarTag.  Those users will see the car toll rise from 75p to £1.00 for a crossing – 60% of crossings are pre-paid. The toll will rise from £1.50 to £2 for a cash crossing.

Councillor Brown told the meeting that this is the first price rise since 2010, and takes into account inflation since then, and forecast costs for the next few years.

He also reassured members that the Council is working with Plymouth City Council to ask for changes to legislation to allow smaller, inflation-linked price rises in the future.

He said:  "The bridge and ferry are currently running in deficit with expenditure exceeding income and that position is forecast to continue into the future.

"So, following public consultation, the Joint Committee has proposed that tolls be increased by 33% from July 2019 to ensure that we can continue to deliver safe, reliable and efficient crossings of the Tamar and still remain self-funding."

Several councillors raised concerns over the plans, including fears of the effect the increase will have on those who travel from Cornwall into Plymouth each day for work.

Councillor Brown responded that the Torpoint Ferry remains one of the cheapest ferry crossings in the UK.  He said that without the increase, the council and its partner, Plymouth City Council, would be unable to keep maintaining the bridge and ferries, which must be the main priority.

The plans were supported unanimously by Cabinet and will now go to full Council.

 

Story posted 18 December 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Tinsel, fairly lights, candles? Make fire prevention top of your Christmas to do list

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 12/18/2018 - 15:47

Cornwall Fire Rescue and Community Safety Service are asking people to take extra care over the festive season to ensure that their families and loved ones are protected from fire.

While fire safety is vital throughout the year, the extra distractions of Christmas make it especially important to be vigilant during the festive season.

Paula Wellings, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Casualty Reduction Manager, said: “Christmas is a time for festive cheer with family and friends. But fairy lights, candles and decorations mean it is also a time to take extra care to keep our loved ones safe from fire”

“To ensure you have the merriest of Christmases, keep fire safety at the top of your list. Make sure candles are in suitable holders and away from curtains, never leave cooking unattended and, of course, test your smoke alarms.

“The colder weather brings its own menaces too.  Take care when using portable heaters or open fires to keep warm.”

Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection Sue James said: “We want everyone in Cornwall to enjoy the festive period but it can be a time where safety is not at the forefront of our minds and it’s easy to get carried away.

“There are a number of quick and simple things we can all do to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe such as regularly testing our smoke alarms and being vigilant when cooking up Christmas treats”

Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service wish everyone in Cornwall a very happy and safe Christmas with some festive safety videos. These will be posted on Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Facebook page throughout December to remind people of the importance of fire safety at Christmas.

You can also view a number of other festive safety tips on Cornwall Council’s website 

 Posted 18 December 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall set to boost recycling rates as household waste and recycling collections change from mid-2020

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 12/18/2018 - 14:27

Households across Cornwall will change to a weekly recycling collection and fortnightly non-recyclable waste collections from mid-2020, Cornwall Council's Cabinet agreed today.

Aiming to boost low recycling rates, from mid-2020 plastic, glass, paper and cardboard will be collected weekly, and a new weekly food waste collection introduced. All other non-recyclable waste will be collected fortnightly, with homes issued with either a wheeled bin or seagull proof sack.

With the current kerbside waste and recycling contract with Biffa coming to an end in March 2020, today's decision paves the way for the next stage of the tender process.

The changes are in line with proposals highlighted in the Government's Resources and Waste Strategy which was published earlier today.

Today's decision reflects increasing concerns about the impact of waste on Cornwall’s environment and has been guided by resident views and practice of other councils across the country, explained Councillor Sue James, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for environment and public protection.

"We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and are incredibly proud of our environment. Today's decision supports residents telling us they want to recycle more.

“We have one of the lowest recycling rates in the UK – we need to recycle more and deal with our food waste more responsibly.  A survey of black bag waste carried out last year showed that a third of the content was food waste. 

“From mid-2020 we'll start collecting food waste in special containers provided by the Council, with this waste then taken to a food processing centre.

"Providing homes with wheeled bins or seagull proof sacks for their waste, we’ll also put to an end the issue of street litter generated by animals pulling apart bin bags on collection day."

The recommendations to change the current waste contract have been considered by a special inquiry, led by the Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny committee. 

The Council has also sought advice from industry experts and other local authorities across the southwest where, all but one other, collect non-recyclable materials every 2-3 weeks. Resident surveys and focus groups, as well as national guidance, helped inform the decision.

Councillor James stressed that no changes will be made until the contract comes into place in April 2020.  

“There is still a lot of work to be done before the changes come into effect in mid-2020. We will be working with communities across Cornwall and will come and talk to you about the changes, explain what needs to happen and when.

“In the meantime, you can help by recycling more and composting where appropriate."

The changes were also supported by local organisations.

Tarn Lamb, Chief Executive of Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change said the move was important to Cornwall’s future saying: “We all need to think and do things differently and have to make smart decisions about what is best for Cornwall, for our future and for our environment. Everyone wants the best outcomes for people and planet - I welcome this decision by the Council to manage resources in a way which prioritises reducing waste and increasing recycling for all our futures.”

Peter Hopkinson, Director of the University of Exeter Centre for Circular Economy said the changes would help increase the quantity and quantity of recycled waste: “This marks an important first step in creating a Cornwall system to reduce waste generation but also recovering more value from the materials within the waste stream.

“The University of Exeter Centre for Circular Economy based at Penryn campus is committed to supporting innovation, creating new jobs and reducing the environmental effects of waste for the benefits of local and regional economies. We look forward to supporting Cornwall Council to continuing to move away from landfill and incineration to circular resource solutions,” he said.  

Find out more about the changes to waste and recycling collections from mid-2020 

Categories: Cornwall

Fight goes on for Cornish tickbox in the next Census

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 12/18/2018 - 12:25

The people of Cornwall deserve the same recognition as other Celtic nations and should have a Cornish tickbox in the next Census, Cornwall Councillors said today.

Following a White Paper published by the Office of National Statistics which states it does not support the provision of a Cornish tickbox in the 2021 Census, Councillors vowed to keep fighting for the people of Cornwall. 

Having a tick box on the Census would give the Cornish parity with the other Celtic nations - the Scottish, Welsh and Irish - and means that government and public bodies will have better information when making decisions.

Cornwall Councillor and Chair of the Council's Cornish Minority Status Working Group, Jesse Foot, expressed disappointment at the White Paper, saying: “Our campaign to have the Cornish tick box on the next Census in 2021 has been well supported by councillors, our MPs and, most importantly, the people of Cornwall. 

“The publication of this White Paper is not the end of the story.  We will be meeting with our MP’s and partners to keep up the pressure and keep campaigning.” 

Thousands flocked to the Cornish Embassy, or Tick Box Bus, this year to celebrate their culture, language and heritage at events like the Cornish leg of the Man Engine Resurrection Tour and the Royal Cornwall Show.

Jesse added: “The bus was a way for people to think about the elements of our culture which demonstrate the distinctiveness of Cornish people.  It was an important part of our campaign to have the Cornish tick box on the next Census as we encouraged people to think about the unique ways in which the Cornish celebrate life and the things that matter. “

St Austell and Newquay MP, Steve Double lent his support to the campaign with a visit to the bus at the Royal Cornwall Show and by securing a debate in Parliament on the inclusion of a tick box on the Census.  He has also expressed his disappointment at the ONS recommendation and has requested an urgent meeting with the Minister responsible to discuss what courses of action may be open.

In the 2011 Census, 83,966 people in Britain ticked 'other' and physically wrote in 'Cornish' as their national identity. Within Cornwall the total was 73,220. 

Jesse Foot said: “Thousands more would have done so if the option had been as straightforward as it is for the other nationalities. More than 50% of school children identified themselves as Cornish in an education survey conducted last year.

“All this data sends a clear message that the people of Cornwall are willing, and should have the right, to self-identify as Cornish – whether by birth, ancestry, marriage or other means.”

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board’s New Frontiers plan asks the Government to fulfil its obligations under the Framework Convention for National Minorities and to do the right thing by the Cornish, the Cornish language and Cornish culture.

The White Paper does offer some concessions. For the first time, ONS will produce an analytical report on the population who identify as Cornish, and how their health, housing, work and education differs from those who do not identify as Cornish.

Support the campaign on social media using #CornishTickBox

Posted on 18 December 2018 

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council and its partners welcome drop in the number of rough sleepers

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 12/17/2018 - 11:46

Cornwall Council and its partners have welcomed another drop in the number of rough sleepers recorded on Cornwall’s streets.

The latest figures, released this week, suggest a co-ordinated action plan to tackle the issue is continuing to have a positive effect, with a 22% drop in the latest count.

This makes a 46% reduction in the total number of rough sleepers recorded since November 2016.

Official figures show that whilst Cornwall still has a relatively high numbers of rough sleepers, 53 individuals were reported as rough sleeping compared to 68 reported in November 2017 and 99 the year prior to that.

The figures come from the annual estimate on the number of rough sleepers in Cornwall counted on a typical night in November 2018, and follow published guidance from the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG). All local authorities undertake an estimate or a count at this time of year.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Homes Andrew Mitchell said: “Through the Council’s Rough Sleeper Reduction Strategy and the MHCLG-funded Rough Sleeper Initiative, the Council has worked with its partners to introduce new support services and it is evident that this is making a continued impact in keeping people off the streets.

“The excellent partnerships that work with rough sleepers need to keep the momentum going as we are still committed to ensuring that no one is forced to sleep rough in Cornwall and we continue to work to make that goal a reality.”

In July 2017, the Council launched a £1.1 million approach to preventing and reducing rough sleeping with £850,000 coming from Cornwall Housing and £292,000 from a successful bid to the previously named Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for Nos Da Kernow (No First Night Out).  In July 2018, MHCLG awarded the Council £437,489, with a further provisional award of £625,009 for 2019/20.

The principle behind the strategy is to step in early to help those threatened with having to sleep rough as well as improving greater access to transitional housing and support services. 

The multi-agency rough sleeper reduction strategy works to:

  • prevent rough sleeping in the first place by helping those most at risk
  • help new rough sleepers quickly access housing, help and support 
  • identify and provide support for entrenched rough sleepers to help them off the streets permanently. 

Councillor Mitchell said: “We need to remember just how quickly someone can find themselves faced with the prospect of sleeping rough, and sadly, the continuing impacts of welfare reform mean that more people are at risk of finding themselves in that predicament. 

“We are managing to get in early to help people who are in desperate need of accommodation and support and place them on a path that will not involve worrying about their safety at night because they are forced to sleep rough.”

New initiatives introduced this year include additional Assertive Outreach Workers and Cold Weather Provision in Penzance, both delivered in partnership with St Petroc’s and 6 additional crisis beds, delivered in partnership with Coastline Housing. 

“The reasons why people become homeless is very complicated and the longer someone remains on the street, the more difficult it can be to move them back into settled accommodation. The strong focus on prevention and early intervention through effective partnership working is key. There is no sole service or agency responsible for addressing rough sleeping and multi-agency approaches prove to be the most effective means of tackling rough sleeping,” Councillor Mitchell said.

There is also specialist support for existing rough sleepers, many of whom have complex needs and housing histories, to help them to move away from the streets permanently.  The Cornwall Rough Sleeper Operational Group (CRSOG) which  includes Cornwall Council, Cornwall Housing Ltd, Coastline Housing, Voluntary Sector Providers, Safer Cornwall, the Drug and Alcohol Action Team, Devon & Cornwall Police, Public Health (including Mental Health Services) and Inclusion Cornwall work together to help and support individuals with complex needs and develop joint solutions for them.

Steve Ellis, CEO at St Petroc’s, said:  “We are really pleased the partnership is reducing the numbers. We all acknowledge we still have much work to do, but are totally committed to ending rough sleeping in Cornwall. 

“All partners will continue to work diligently together to meet this aim.” 

Allister Young, CEO at Coastline Housing, said:  “Partnership working in Cornwall is having a positive impact but there remains much more to do.

“The dual approach of the additional 6 beds is reaching those already in crisis, whilst the Nos Da Kernow project is working hard to prevent homelessness by stopping anyone having to spend that terrible first night on the streets  

“It is critical that we continue to work together to improve lives and reduce homelessness in Cornwall.”

Jude Cross,  Rough Sleeping Strategic Lead for Cornwall Housing said: “Cornwall demonstrates that excellent partnership working is key to preventing and alleviating rough sleeping.

“The way in which agencies work together to tailor solutions that meet an individual’s needs is proof that personalised approaches can yield really positive results.

“Whilst we still have more work to do, we are now starting to see a sustained outcome from the Rough Sleeping Reduction Strategy and this gives us a really positive base to build upon for the future.”

Story posted 17 December 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Survey shows four out of five people think recycling is important

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 15:24

Four out of five people in Cornwall think recycling household rubbish is very important according to the results of a survey published today by Cornwall Council.

Last December Cornwall Council conducted a survey to better understand what people think about recycling, their attitudes to food waste and what would help people to recycle more.

The survey saw 4,404 responses from across Cornwall and from a mix of housing types. The survey was complemented by three focus groups which explored key issues more deeply.

Of those who responded:

  • 91% think it is very important that Cornwall’s environment is protected
  • 82% think recycling household rubbish is very important
  • 77% think that household recycling is fairly or very convenient
  • Only 3% of respondents said they did not recycle
  • One in five households throw away ‘quite a lot’ or ‘a reasonable amount’ of food waste
  • 71% said a collection of a wider range of materials would encourage an increase in recycling
  • One in five people (21%) said they would consider being a volunteer recycling champion for the Council.

Being unable to store the recycling between collections was one of the most cited reasons for not recycling.

Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment & Public Protection Sue James said: “Public feedback is important – one of our values is to listen to residents and we really wanted to know what people thought.  The survey results suggest people want to recycle and will do it if it is easy but one size does not fit all. It was clear barriers to recycling included storage, access to collection points and confusion over what can be recycled.

“This survey has provided us with lots of insight – it supports that people will recycle more if it is easy, that people want to know what happens to materials collected and we need to provide more information on what can and can’t be recycled.”

The results of the survey and focus groups have now been published on the Council website at: www.cornwall.gov.uk/recyclingsurvey

Results from the survey will now help shape future education and awareness campaigns, as well as be included in the tender documents when the 2020 waste contract is issued.

Councillor James said the feedback had also helped shaped the Council’s proposed Resources & Waste Strategy, which has been published for consultation to seek residents views on the way the Council proposes to deal with waste.

“How we deal with our materials, waste and resources now and in the future is one of the biggest challenges we face. Over the past few years we have seen some reduction in waste generated and some improvement in the amount of waste that is recycled in Cornwall, but we need to do much more.

“This strategy sets out our plan to work with the community to better manage household materials, waste and resources. It’s important that everyone in Cornwall makes an active contribution to reducing the amount of waste we create, and to reusing and recycling more, which is why we are keen to hear people’s feedback on our approach, especially as we had such as strong response to the last survey.

“Our proposed strategy is titled ‘It’s in our hands’ because the management of waste starts with each of us. Only when we all work together, can we make a real difference for Cornwall and its unique and special environment.”

The strategy consultation will run until 31 March 2018 and can be viewed on the waste and recycling section of our website.

Story posted 16 March 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Minister recognises Cornwall’s work to reduce fuel poverty by 5,000 homes

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 15:22

Recent figures released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) show that Cornwall has reduced fuel poverty by over 5,000 homes in a year.

On a visit to Cornwall by Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth Claire Perry visited Cornwall today (Friday 20 July) to learn about Cornwall’s Winter Wellbeing Partnership work in reducing fuel poverty levels.

By 2030 Cornwall Council’s ambition is to remove a further 22,000 homes from fuel poverty.

Led by Cornwall Council working with a range of partners, the programme is making a real difference to people’s lives.

Claire Perry met residents who have benefited from the Warm and Well Cornwall programme which helps residents who are suffering from ill health and living in a cold and damp home to have first time central heating installed and insulation improvements.

Cornwall Council and social landlords have match funded £3.5million investment from the National Grid’s Warm Homes Fund.

Cornwall Council’s 2015  Devolution Deal was a key factor in unlocking funding to find better ways of working to help people who would not traditionally have received help under previous funded programmes.

The visit to Cornwall also featured a briefing on the Winter Wellbeing partnership, made up of over 30 organisations, to address fuel poverty.

Each winter the partners provide residents with help from emergency heating funds, advice on better insulation, switching tariffs, providing first time central heating systems and support to find employment.

The Winter Wellbeing partnership launched in 2010 and has helped 7,400 homes and prevented 818 hospital admissions. In the last year alone NHS saved £61,000 based on 63 hospital admissions prevented – every £1 Winter Wellness investment saved the NHS £3.15.

In 2017 Cornwall Council’s Wellbeing and Public Health team was funded by BEIS to work in partnership with Citizen’s Advice to develop two toolkits which would help local authorities and health services to tackle fuel poverty across England.

This week, following the success of the Energy Price Cap Bill through Parliament, the Government also announced that its flagship energy efficiency scheme will be 100% focused on helping improve over 1 million low income and vulnerable households by 2022. The cap, which will protect millions of households from unjustified price rises and poor value deals on their energy bills, coupled with the £6 billion energy efficiency scheme will help build an energy market that puts consumers at its heart and ensures that those most at risk of fuel poverty are protected.

Cornwall Council Leader Adam Paynter said: “Cornwall has been leading the way in tackling fuel poverty, and our programmes are held in high esteem nationally. They are providing real solutions to real people and making a difference to everyday lives. A warm and well home is a key foundation to people’s wellbeing and we’re proud to be contributing to reduced hospital admissions in the process.”

Claire Perry Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth said “Yesterday’s changes to the flagship ECO scheme will increase the proportion of the scheme that can be delivered with local authorities up to 25%. Combined with the scheme’s new innovation requirement, this will help Cornwall Council to work with Sarah Newton MP to give Cornish residents the ability to live warm and well.”

Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth said: “Ensuring local people live in warm homes is a top priority for me, that’s why I’m thrilled that Cornwall is leading the way in tackling fuel poverty. I have been part of the Winter Wellbeing Partnership work and Warm and Well Cornwall programme for some time and am pleased with the progress we are making. Today we’ve seen first-hand that installing the right heating and insulation can make a significant difference to the health and wellbeing of residents. The Government is committed to ending fuel poverty and I am delighted that yesterday’s announcements will enable the Partnership in Cornwall to enable many more people live in warm homes”.

John Pettigrew, Chief Executive of National Grid said: “The aim of our fund is threefold; to help to reduce bills, make fuel poor households warmer, and improve the health of people suffering the most severe levels of fuel poverty. “Around 4.5 million households across the country are in fuel poverty with people not able to heat their homes enough to stay warm and healthy. Many are struggling on low incomes and are relying on heating systems that are expensive to run or don’t heat their homes properly. In many cases, because of their circumstances or the type of property they live in, they can’t apply for existing grant schemes.”

“National Grid is making this significant voluntary contribution of £150m and has established the Warm Homes Fund in recognition of the challenges that people face living in cold, damp and energy inefficient homes.”

Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director Affordable Warmth Solutions added: “Solving the issues associated with Fuel Poverty continues to challenge many of our stakeholders and we are delighted to see the minister visit this exciting initiative and showing her support for the Warm and Well Programme that with our support is already making a difference to the lives of residents of Cornwall.”

Posted on 20 July 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Safer St Austell sleep out in solidarity

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 11:35

Spending a night under the stars may seem like a good idea during the summer, but a group of community workers got a glimpse of the grim reality of homelessness at a special event in St Austell last night.

Officers from the Safer St Austell team spent the night at White River Place protected only by sleeping bags and cardboard.

The event was organised to highlight the issue of homelessness, as well as to help promote the local support services available and to demonstrate how well individuals are supported within St Austell.

The group, which included representatives from Addaction, Cosgarne Hall, SAHA Freshstart, Cornwall Council’s Community Safety, Localism and Anti-Social Behaviour Team, Mayor Gary King, Deputy Mayor Tim Styles and Cornwall Councillor James Mustoe slept out between 10pm and 6am, enduring a long damp night.

Helen Catherall, Addaction worker, said: “Homelessness is a sign. It tells us that there has been a crisis or that there is an underlying issue. Ironically, homelessness is barrier to accessing support when it’s needed the most. This is why it is so important to report rough sleeping to Streetlink either via their online reporting system or by telephoning Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 to ensure support is offered.”

Gareth Bray, Chairman of Cosgarne Hall Board of Trustees, said: “St Austell has a long history supporting those who are homeless going back to the 1800s and we are pleased to be involved with the sleep out to continue to raise awareness around support services. We want to highlight that although we are raising awareness through this event those who have attended had a choice to sleep out whereas those who are homeless do not have this choice.”

Sue James, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said:  “Homelessness is an issue we are determined to tackle, and events such as this help raise awareness of the problem.

“It is vital we do all we can to encourage people to contact Streetlink if you see anyone sleeping on the streets. The sooner we are informed, the quicker we can offer the support that these vulnerable people need.”

Categories: Cornwall

Homes for Cornwall partnership celebrates delivery of over 200 new homes

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 10:27

This week Homes for Cornwall partners gathered at a new 100% affordable housing development in St Breward to officially celebrate the new homes and welcome new residents. The St Breward development called Moorland Fields and Chyryn Drive provides 21 new homes for local people, ranging from one to four bedrooms. 11 are for rent and 10 for shared ownership. 

The homes at St Breward go a long way to help local housing need by providing 100% affordable housing in a picturesque village where demand has been high for several years.

The development is part of “Homes for Cornwall” launched in 2014. The initiative brings together leading south west housing provider LiveWest, Cornwall Council and leading regeneration business Galliford Try Partnerships to deliver homes on Cornwall Council-owned sites across the Duchy. 

The Homes for Cornwall initiative is set to see the delivery of 356 new homes over the partnership and the St Breward site is the 5th new development in Cornwall.

Naomi Bailey who, with her family, recently moved into a four bedroom home for affordable rent on the new development said: “We’re delighted that we have been able to stay in the village. We need four bedrooms and this house is ideal. We’re all really excited.  We’ve made it our home and we’re really happy with it.”

Gareth Jones, Development Director of Affordable Housing at LiveWest said: “We know there are lots of families who need a home in the village to be close to their relatives and friends. Average house prices in rural areas are roughly £6,500 higher than in urban areas and incomes in rural areas are lower.”

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has provided £286,000 funding for the scheme supporting much needed affordable housing for people from St Breward.

Versha Koria, Affordable Housing Senior Specialist for Homes England said: “Homes England is happy to support this development with affordable housing grant. It is a great example of what partnership working can deliver in a rural location.”

Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for Homes said: “Building the right kind of housing in the right place is a key commitment for this Council. Developments like this provide local people with high quality homes in a location they want. This development in St Breward is a great example of the Council working with other organisations to reduce our housing pressure and ensure families live comfortably in good quality affordable accommodation, which is one of the commitments we made to the people of Cornwall.”

Andrew Johnston, Managing Director for Galliford Try Partnerships commented; “It is fantastic to hear such positive feedback from the residents and local community. We are delighted with the scheme, transforming a challenging landscape into quality new homes for local people. St.Breward is a stunning new development and one that all Homes for Cornwall Partners can be truly proud of.”

Veronica Stansfield from St Breward Parish Council said: “We’ve got 21 properties for affordable rent or for shared ownership and the Parish Council are delighted.  All the properties have gone to very local people so these are people living in their own community.  These aren’t houses – these are homes.”

Dominic Fairman, Cornwall Councillor for St Breward and St Teath said: “To see all these local families moved in and contributing to the local shop and the local school is good news for St Breward.”

The construction of the new homes was captured by well-known Cornish Artist, Chris Thomas, who worked in a small studio next door. He saw the building site in St Breward near Bodmin as a thing of “beauty and movement”. Chris, who has lived In Cornwall for 50 years and has enjoyed painting its people and landscapes all his life was spellbound by what he describes as “A little piece of history” and decided to capture, on canvas, the creation of the 21 new affordable homes in the village.

Chris, who was working in his studio when construction began, approached Galliford Try Partnerships Site Manager, Colin Benny to ask permission to paint the homes as they were being built.

Galliford Try Partnerships built Chris his own viewing platform so he could be right at the centre of the action on site without being in danger.

Work has also started on a Homes for Cornwall development on the site of the former Cornwall Council offices at St Clare in Penzance with more homes in Penzance due to be built on the old Depot site.

Eight Cornwall Council owned sites were identified for potential housing developments as part of the Council's Housing Investment Plan and the Homes for Cornwall partnership has so far delivered 205 new homes. Releasing and building on Council-owned land both provides affordable housing (currently predicted to exceed    44% of the total number due to be built over the course of the programme) and funds which will be re-invested in more land for further development opportunities.

Around 20,000 homes were built last year in the South West, compared to the 42,000 homes the region needs annually. This dire housing shortage is leaving thousands of people unable to buy their own home or find a stable home in the private rented sector, and is even pushing people into homelessness.

The homes at St Breward provide much needed rural housing for local people. The scheme is a great example of where rural housing has made a difference to local people, these homes have supported families to stay in an area where they have lived and will be contributing to wider services such as local schools and shops.

The event this week was important to highlight how new housing can breathe life into rural communities. It also promotes how rural housebuilding can be key to the survival of vital community assets and services, such as schools, post offices and pubs.

 

Story posted 14 December 2018


 

Categories: Cornwall

Par Library to move to Par Running Track under new agreement with community group

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 09:05

Par Library will move to Par Running Track early next year as part of a new agreement with Par Track Limited to secure the future of a library service in the town.

The new micro library at the popular Moorland Road facility will remain part of Cornwall’s library service, so customers will be able to keep their existing library cards and will be able to visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.

Offering around 1,600 books including fiction, non-fiction and junior texts, the library stock will be provided and managed by Cornwall Council.

The library will also provide a free ‘click and collect’ service so that visitors can access the library catalogue and reserve books online. Customers will also have access to free WiFi and computers.

The current library on Eastcliffe Road will close on Saturday 26 January and the new micro library at the running track will open on Monday 4 February. Customers will be able to return any books borrowed from the current library to the micro library. Anyone in Par using the Home Library Service, which is delivered by the Royal Voluntary Service, will be able to continue to access this service.

Like all local authorities throughout the UK, the Council has had some tough decisions to make when faced with substantial cuts in funding from central Government. Rather than close libraries, however, the Council has worked with town and parish councils and community groups throughout Cornwall to transfer ownership of these much-loved services to local communities, explained Councillor Edwina Hannaford, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods.

"The members of Par Track Limited are dedicated to their local community and securing access to facilities for their residents," she said. "The group's proactive approach has meant that residents can continue to visit a library in the town, as opposed to us potentially having to introduce a mobile library stop. I commend Par Track Ltd for the excellent service they are providing to their community.”

The new library will initially be open at the same times and on the same days as the current one. Par Track Ltd has plans, subject to the availability of funding, to create a new library space in the future, which they hope will allow them to provide a more comprehensive service and to extend the opening hours.

Categories: Cornwall

Hot topics for discussion at Cabinet

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:45

Crucial plans for a sustainable Cornwall will be up for discussion when the Cabinet meets next week at New County Hall.

The authority’s long-term capital investment plan, the purchase of homes to be used as emergency accommodation, changes to Cornwall’s waste collections, and a proposal to purchase and bring back into use a historic Penzance town centre building are all set to be debated.

Another paper due for discussion is the future funding of the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry, which could see the first increase in crossing prices in almost a decade. 

Prices on the bridge, which is jointly owned by Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council, have not risen since 2010, and, under the terms of the Tamar Bridge Act, must be approved by the Secretary of State before they can implemented.

The money generated by the tolls is used for bridge maintenance, and to subsidise the cost of the Torpoint Ferry service, which is vital to the economy of south east Cornwall.

The cabinet will meet at the Trelawney Room in New County Hall on Tuesday, December 18 at 10am.

Members of the public are welcome to attend cabinet meetings in person or watch the meeting live via a webcast on the council’s website.

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall’s newest firefighters take to their stations

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 14:44

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service's newest recruits have completed their initial training and are ready to help protect their local communities.

The group - eight 'on call' firefighters and four Tri Service Safety Officers - were officially welcomed to the service following a 'passing out' parade at Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service's Headquarters in Tolvaddon, near Camborne.

As part of training the group followed a two week intensive course aimed at giving them a broad introduction to lifesaving skills including firefighting techniques, water safety, responding to road traffic collisions and first aid.

They will now develop their training with experienced colleagues at their respective stations across Cornwall, explained Area Manager Kath Billing from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS).

"Our new recruits have demonstrated they have what it takes to make a valuable contribution - not just to Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, but to the local communities they will now serve," she said.

"It's important they continue to develop their skills and expertise with their colleagues on station - the colleagues who they will work with and will rely on when they are called to emergency incidents."

For the first time, Cornwall's initial firefighter training course has been extended to include new tri-service safety officers. Jointly funded by the three emergency services, eight new tri-service safety officers have been recruited to the service, forming part of a ten strong team serving Bude, Fowey/Polruan, Hayle, Liskeard, Looe, Lostwithiel, Perranporth, St Dennis, St Ives and St Just. Currently in their training and development phase, the new officers will officially take up their community roles in April 2019. Four of the new tri-service safety officers are already fully trained on call firefighters.

As part of their role, tri-service safety officers are qualified on call firefighters with Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service; Emergency Medical Responders for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and are also trained by Devon and Cornwall Police in areas specific to safeguarding, complex problem solving tasks, challenging and dealing with anti-social behaviour and assisting local police neighbourhood teams. The officers also work in partnership with Safer Cornwall’s Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Team.

"Firefighters - and our tri-service safety officers - have such an important role in their local community and I'm delighted to welcome the new recruits to our fire service family," said Councillor Sue James, Cornwall Council cabinet member for environment and public protection.

The new recruits who took part in the passing out ceremony are:

  • Daniel Bassett, Truro
  • Tarryn Brown (Tri Service Safety Officer)
  • Tom Dewaele, Fowey
  • Martin Giles, St Austell
  • Philip Graham (Tri Service Safety Officer)
  • Adrian Hart (Tri Service Safety Officer)
  • Danny Lyden, St Austell
  • Matt Rockett, Torpoint
  • James Smith, Padstow
  • James Trounson, Mullion
  • Mesha Wardman (Tri Service Safety Officer)
  • Corey Wedlake, Helston
Categories: Cornwall

Enjoy the spectacle of nature’s lights this Christmas and support the ‘Big Dipper’ campaign to protect our night sky

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 11:52

Businesses and residents across Cornwall are urged to take steps to help protect the star quality of our dark skies as part of a nationwide campaign to reduce light pollution.

The ‘Big Dipper’ campaign aims to raise public awareness of light pollution and urges people to help conserve our starry dark night sky so we can all contribute to protecting and enhancing our environment.

To see for yourself the beauty of the dark skies that some areas of Cornwall enjoy, come to a free event being organised by Caradon Observatory on 15 December at Siblyback reservoir between 7pm and 10pm. There will be a range of telescopes for visitors to look through and there is a really good chance that comet 46P/Wirtanen will be visible with the naked eye from dark sky sites like this one. 

The event is one of a series showcasing the exceptional quality of the night sky over Bodmin Moor, which was designated as an International Dark Sky Landscape in 2017 after a successful bid by Cornwall Council and Caradon Observatory. Cornwall Council is supporting another bid for Dark Sky status in West Cornwall and the ‘Big Dipper’ campaign highlights how everyone can help protect our night skies.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for the environment, Sue James said: “By taking a simple step to dip our lights we can reduce light pollution and retain the sense of wonder when we look up to the night sky.”

The Council has led the way with a ground breaking street lighting programme which not only helps safeguard our night skyscapes but has also saved over £26m in energy and maintenance costs; contributing to a reduction in CO2 emissions.

Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for transport, Geoff Brown, said: “Cornwall Council’s smart lighting system controls the amount of light scatter causing the sky glow.  Given we live in such a beautiful part of the country where dark skies provide us with spectacular nightscapes, we made the decision to upgrade 53,000 street lights across the county with an energy efficient, white light system which is electronically controlled and cloud based. It was a ground breaking decision at the time and is still leading the way for other local authorities.

“Cornwall continues to be one of the leading Councils for managing its street lighting, in 2009 it introduced a programme to replace its stock with optical controlled lights, which dramatically changed the Cornish night sky from orange to black”

“To date this programme has saved Cornwall’s residents £26m in energy costs and maintenance, with these savings continuing to be delivered year on year as energy prices across the UK fluctuate.

“This translates to a reduction in carbon emissions of 5,500 tonnes of CO2 a year, and it means our night skies are darker with less light glow, which is good for star gazing.”

“This smart system means we can dim street lights in Cornwall at specific times, based on the road category and risk, which saves energy and reduces light pollution at the same time”

“ The Council continues to use the latest energy and light efficient equipment as the better LED technologies are introduced on new developments and via replacement programmes” adds Cllr Brown.

Residents can do their bit to support the Big Dipper campaign by making sure that outside lights, especially LED floodlights and security lights, are not too bright and are installed so that no light is directed up into the night sky.

The campaign is asking people to: 

  • Ensure lights point down and are fully shielded.
  • Only illuminate areas you need to and don’t leave lights on all night – use a timer or motion sensor.
  • Use lighting that is no brighter than necessary.
  • If possible don’t use LEDs emitting bright white/blue light, but rather warmer colours, which is also better for nocturnal animals.

Sue James adds:  “Poorly installed outside lighting can be detrimental to the quality of our dark skies.  Many of the newer security lights being installed emit a very harsh blue-white light, which scatters further into the sky, blotting out our view of the stars. The impact is often made worse by the fact such units are angled outwards to increase the spread of light.  A single, poorly installed floodlight can be seen for miles around.  The night time environment is a crucial natural resource for people, wildlife and for the rural visitor economy which benefits from increasing public interest in astro-tourism.

There is increasing awareness of the impact that light pollution can have on wildlife, by interrupting natural rhythms.  Light pollution can affect humans too, including disrupted sleep and an impact on the body's production of melatonin, a brain hormone best known for its daily role in resetting the body's biological clock.”

If it’s rainy or too cloudy the event on 15 December will be postponed. Caradon Observatory will post Facebook updates running up to the event.

For advice on minimising light pollution visit The Commission for Dark Skies website or the International Dark Sky Association website. 

Further information on light pollution and interactive maps can be found on the Campaign to Protect Rural England website.

Story posted 12 December 2018

Photo credit: Outreach at Siblyback Lake by Jon Jacobs Photography

 

Categories: Cornwall

Cabinet to make crucial decision on future of waste and recycling collections in Cornwall

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 08:46

Households across Cornwall could be provided with a weekly recycling collection and caddies to recycle their food waste in 2020 under proposals to be considered by Cornwall Council's Cabinet next week.

Cabinet members will also vote on whether or not to move to fortnightly residual waste collections and provide households with wheeled bins or seagull proof sacks during the meeting on Tuesday 18 December.

With Cornwall's kerbside waste and recycling contract with Biffa coming to an end in March 2020, the Cabinet decision will direct the next stage of the tender process currently underway.

Cabinet are being asked to decide between moving to a new system aimed at boosting recycling, or retaining the current collection arrangements.

The new system would switch recycling and residual collections so that recycling is collected weekly, with the addition of food waste.

Councillor Sue James, portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said the decision is an important one for Cornwall.

"Next Tuesday's decision is one that will affect all households across Cornwall," she said. "With the world focussed on the impact of waste on our environment, we have the opportunity to make a crucial decision about the way we manage waste in Cornwall that will affect generations to come.

“We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and are incredibly proud of our environment. Many residents recycle but overall we could do more, and these changes will help facilitate that.

"A survey of black bag waste carried out last year showed that a third of the content was food waste. 

"If the Cabinet approves a proposed change, that food waste would be collected weekly in special containers provided by the Council, and all other recycling would also be collected weekly.  Other waste would be collected fortnightly.

“The Council would issue wheeled bins or seagull proof sacks to all households, putting an end to street litter generated by animals pulling apart bin bags on collection day.”

The recommendations to change the current waste contract have been considered by a special inquiry, led by the Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny committee.

The Council has also sought advice from industry experts and other local authorities, as well as having carried out resident surveys, focus groups and assessed national guidance.

If the changes are supported, no changes will be made until the contract comes in to place in April 2020.

“If the changes are supported there is still a lot of work to be done before the changes come into effect in 2020. We will be working with communities across Cornwall and will come and talk to you about the changes, explain what needs to happen and when.

In the meantime, residents can help by recycling more and composting where appropriate,” Cllr James said.

Read the report to be considered by Cabinet on 18 December - you can also watch the webcast live from 10am that day using the link from the homepage of the Council's website

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council draft budget on the agenda for the Launceston Community Network Panel meeting

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 09:37

Residents of the Launceston area are invited to attend the December meeting of the Launceston Community Network Panel. Items on the agenda include Community Chest Celebration, Cornwall Council draft budget 2019/20, Community Network Highways Scheme, and Library Devolution.

The meeting takes place on Thursday 13 December 2018, between 6.30pm and 9pm, at The Guildhall, Launceston Town Hall.

Representatives from some of the groups which received Cornwall Councillor Community Chest awards last year will be in attendance. This is an opportunity to hear about the fantastic work of local groups and the projects they have delivered.  In addition it is an opportunity to find out more about the Community Chest Grants available.

Also on the agenda is an opportunity to learn about and discuss the Council’s draft budget for 2019/20 and MTFP.  This will be led by Cllr Adam Paynter.

With the need to reduce spending by another £70 million over the next four years with Government grant decreasing and demand for services increasing the Council has to find ways to be more efficient and balance the budget. The Council will have to be self-financing after 2022 with funds coming from Council tax, business rates and income from fees and charges. We will be asking people how they would spend the budget, how much they would increase Council tax by or how else they would raise additional money, and if they would support the principle of voluntary contributions.

The Community Network Panel will also consider priorities under the Community Network Highways Scheme.

The Launceston Community Network Panel meets every other month to discuss matters that affect the local community and to agree priorities that can be delivered by Cornwall Council and other agencies including the police and health services. Some of the areas that community networks focus on include anti-social behaviour, economic development, the environment, community planning, regeneration, conservation, community safety, and transport and highway issues.

The panel comprises all five Cornwall Councillors for the area and representatives of the sixteen parishes in the Launceston Community Network area - Altarnun Parish Council, Boyton Parish Council, Egloskerry Parish Council, Laneast Parish Council, Launceston Town Council, Lawhitton Parish Council, Lewannick Parish Council, Lezant Parish Council, North Hill Parish Council, North Petherwin Parish Council, South Petherwin Parish Council, St Stephen by Launceston Rural Parish Council, St Thomas the Apostle Rural Parish Council, Stoke Climsland Parish Council, Trewen Parish Council, Werrington Parish Council.

Chair of the Panel, Councillor Neil Burden, said “The Launceston Community Network Panel meeting is a great opportunity for local residents and businesses to ask questions about local issues so please do come along and take part.  We’ll have updates on library and health centre developments and highway projects; we’ll hear about the success of projects supported by members community chest awards and there will be the opportunity to hear from Council Leader Adam Paynter about the budget proposals. ”

More information about the Community Network Panels and dates for future meetings  can be found on the Cornwall Council Community Network webpage. 

 

Story posted 10 December 2018 

Categories: Cornwall

Lostwithiel Town Council to take over management of town's library

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 09:35

Lostwithiel Library will transfer to Lostwithiel Town Council in early February in a new agreement with Cornwall Council.

The arrangement, which is part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme, means the historic Taprell House building will continue to provide all the key services essential to a modern library.

Following the transfer Lostwithiel Library will remain part of the countywide service meaning customers will keep their existing library cards and will still be able to visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.

Mayor of Lostwithiel Councillor Pam Jarrett, said: "Lostwithiel Town Council has ensured the continued provision of the Library Service in Lostwithiel not only for the residents of Lostwithiel but for all those residents in surrounding Parishes.  By accepting the devolution of the delivery of the library service in Lostwithiel, the Town Council is reflecting the views of the majority of the local community who when responding to the Town Council’s consultation said they wanted the Town Council to run the service."  

Deputy Mayor Tim Hughes, said: “Lostwithiel Town Council has worked hard with Cornwall Council to develop a unique model of keeping our community library open, while minimising costs for local Council taxpayers. We have retained a vital community asset which we intend to run with community volunteers. 

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “We have been working closely with town and parish councils and community groups to find the best custodians for local libraries through our Library Transformation Programme. Our aim has always been to work with partners and communities to create sustainable services aligned to local needs. As a result of our agreement with Lostwithiel Town Council, local residents will be able to continue enjoying their library for many years to come."

In preparation for the new arrangements, Lostwithiel Library will close for refurbishment from Monday 14 January and re-open week commencing 4 February. Customers will be able to borrow items for an extended loan period before the library closes.

Categories: Cornwall

The children in care in Cornwall who have overcome the odds

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 14:25

Children in care living in Cornwall are celebrating their best ever outcomes so far with their SATs and A’ Level results and university places.

This past year has seen pupils achieving their best ever SATs results and the successes keep coming, with four young people getting the A’ Level results they needed which means they have now been able to go on to University. They join a growing number of over twenty young people now pursuing degree courses.

Councillor Sally Hawken, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children and Wellbeing said: “We are determined to help children in care to achieve their very best at school. Research from the Department for Education shows that educational attainment for looked after children is much lower than for non-looked after children but we are determined to disprove this.

“These young people may not have had the same advantages in their lives as children who are not in care but we can offer them the support they need at school to help them to achieve and have the successful and bright future that they deserve.”

In the new academic year (2018-2019) there are a higher percentage of year 12 and 13 pupils studying A’ Levels than in previous years, and the number of pupils engaged in education, employment and training this year is higher than previous years. Courses that students are studying range from philosophy to child care, to mechanics.

There is also positive news for children in care aged between 7 and 11 years who are likely to be significantly above the national level and, in 2018, have closed the gap between children who are not in care.

For children aged between 14 – 16 years outcomes have improved since the dip in 2017 and are now back on track with an overall trend of improvement since the establishment of the Virtual School in 2008.

Fixed term exclusions are down significantly and the number of unauthorised absences for children in care has dropped with an overall improvement in school attendance. The attendance rate for children in care in Cornwall is better than other children in care in the rest of the south west region.

To celebrate the results the team recently held two highly successful celebration events at The Alverton Manor. The younger children celebrated with a high tea, and the older children had a celebratory dinner with fairy lights, which some of the children described as ‘magical’.

The events were also attended by parents, carers, nurses, social workers as well as the Strategic Director of Children Schools & Families, Trevor Doughty and the Council’s Chief Executive Kate Kennally. 

Story posted 07 December 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Waste and recycling collections over the Christmas period

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 08:55

With the festive season almost upon us, Cornwall's residents are being reminded of changes to waste and recycling collections over the Christmas period.

As in previous years, there will be no waste and recycling collections on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

Collections due on Christmas Day:

  • Rubbish due to be collected on Christmas Day will be collected on Tuesday 1 January.
  • Recycling due to be collected on Christmas Day will be collected on Saturday 22 December.
  • Garden waste due to be collected on Christmas Day will be collected on Saturday 22 December.

Collections due on Boxing Day:

  • Rubbish due to be collected on Boxing Day will be collected on Wednesday 2 January.
  • Recycling due to be collected on Boxing Day will be collected on Saturday 29 December.
  • Garden waste due to be collected on Boxing Day will be collected on Saturday 29 December.

For collections due on any other day of the week over the Christmas period, we will collect waste and recycling as usual, explained Councillor Sue James, Cornwall Council cabinet member for environment and public protection.

"It may be that the time of collection is earlier or later than usual, but as long as bins and/or recycling are out by 7am, our contractors Biffa will collect it," she said.

With the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, Household Waste Recycling Centres are open seven days a week between 9am and 4pm.

Find out more information about waste and recycling collections over Christmas and your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre on Cornwall Council's Christmas services webpage 

Posted on 07 December

Categories: Cornwall

Penzance partners continue to take positive action

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 12/06/2018 - 15:55

A multi-agency partnership approach in Penzance continues to tackle the separate issues of rough sleeping and anti-social behaviour, with Cornwall and Penzance Town Councils, police, Penzance BID and multiple partner agencies working closely together to respond to community concerns.

Cornwall Council Cabinet Portfolio holder Andrew Mitchell said rough sleeping in the town has been the focus of work for over 18 months through Cornwall Council’s Rough Sleeper Reduction Strategy which aims to prevent people from moving into rough sleeping. This has included work by the award-winning Nos Da Kernow programme, which works to prevent people from sleeping rough in the first place and has been acknowledged as good practice nationally.

“A range of organisations are undertaking daily outreach work for individuals with multiple complex needs who find it difficult to engage with services, as well as providing support to those who approach them for help. As well, additional bed spaces have been delivered at a cold weather provision hostel, additional outreach workers have been brought on board and work is being done with the private sector to improve access to rented accommodation,” Cllr Mitchell said.

This month, St Petroc’s have set up a pop-up shelter in Penzance with nine bed spaces. Funded through the Government’s Rough Sleeper Initiative, with some top-up funding from Cornwall Council, the shelter was identified as a need during the snow storms earlier this year and will provide extra accommodation for rough sleepers during severe winter weather.

Separately, Addaction are maintaining the additional provision of daily outreach sessions to vulnerable adults on the street, talking to local residents and businesses and safely disposing of any drugs litter found.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Cornwall Council’s anti-social behaviour team continue to work closely together to provide reassurance and enforcement to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

Sergeant Gemma Freestone from Devon and Cornwall Police said the last three months have seen 87 high visibility patrols by Penzance’s Police  Neighbourhood Team (out of 89 possible days), as well as patrols by response units and foot patrols by the Sector Inspector.

“Anti-social behaviour is being taken seriously. We have issued two dispersal notices under Section 35 of the Crime and Policing Act 2014, and one person has been arrested for an offence against the Public Order Act, with a hearing on 12 December.

“Twelve arrests have been made for offences ranging from criminal damage, to serious assault, breach of community behaviour orders, shoplifting, theft, drugs and burglary.  We are also undertaking ongoing intelligence-led proactive work to address drug supply at a local level, and we’ve undertaken raids on licensed premises,” Sgt Freestone said.

To reduce local businesses selling alcohol to known street drinkers every off licence premises in Penzance has been visited by the police and reminded of the law in relation to selling to persons under the influence. Support is also being sought from businesses to implement voluntarily measures to reduce access to alcohol to street drinkers.

Penzance Town Mayor Councillor Dick Cliffe said the multi-agency response was making a difference: “I am aware of an acute shortage of resources generally for dealing with the problem of anti-social behaviour and rough sleeping in Cornwall but Penzance has been made a priority during 2018.

“At the moment I am happy with progress but concerned about the poisonous hate speech and misrepresentations being made that conflate rough sleeping and anti-social behaviour as being the same issue. They are not, and they have very different responses in place.

“Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and tough action is being taken in response. Rough sleepers require a different response to some very complex problems. In many cases, they are the victims of anti-social behaviour and don’t deserve to be demonized. Lots of good work is being done in this area with some very vulnerable individuals.”

A new community safety hub will open early in the New Year in Causeway Head to provide greater public access to talk to organisations about community safety issues and to report their concerns through a single access point.  The hub is funded by Cornwall Council, Penzance Town Council and Penzance BID.

The Safer Penzance team will also be holding a public information day in January for people to come along and meet the various agencies and services to learn more about aspects of the ongoing work and discuss any concerns.

Posted on 06 December 2018

Categories: Cornwall

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